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Astronaut

Astronaut

Overview
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

.
While generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists.

Until 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military, or by civilian space agencies.
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Encyclopedia
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

.
While generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists.

Until 2002, astronauts were sponsored and trained exclusively by governments, either by the military, or by civilian space agencies. With the sub-orbital flight of the privately-funded SpaceShipOne in 2004, a new category of astronaut was created: the commercial astronaut
Commercial Astronaut
A commercial astronaut is a person trained to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a privately funded spacecraft.-Criteria:The criteria for determining who has achieved human spaceflight vary. The FAI defines spaceflight as any flight over of altitude...

.

Definition


The criteria for what constitutes human spaceflight
Human spaceflight
Human spaceflight is spaceflight with humans on the spacecraft. When a spacecraft is manned, it can be piloted directly, as opposed to machine or robotic space probes and remotely-controlled satellites....

 vary. The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale
Fédération Aéronautique Internationale
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale is the world governing body for air sports and aeronautics and astronautics world records. Its head office is in Lausanne, Switzerland. This includes man-carrying aerospace vehicles from balloons to spacecraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles...

 (FAI) Sporting Code for astronautics recognizes only flights that exceed an altitude of 100 kilometres (62.1 mi). In the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts who travel above an altitude of 50 miles (80.5 km) are awarded astronaut wings
Astronaut Badge
The Astronaut Badge is a badge of the United States, awarded to military and civilian pilots who have completed training and performed a successful spaceflight...

.

As of June 20, 2011, a total of 523 people from 38 countries have reached 100 km (62 mi) or more in altitude, of which 520 reached Low Earth orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 or beyond.
Of these, 24 people have traveled beyond Low Earth orbit, to either lunar or trans-lunar orbit or to the surface of the moon; three of the 24 did so twice: Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

, John Young
John Watts Young
John Watts Young is a retired American astronaut, test pilot, naval officer, and aeronautical engineer who became the ninth person to walk on the Moon as commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972....

 and Eugene Cernan.

Under the U. S. definition, as of June 20, 2011, 529 people qualify as having reached space, above 50 miles (80.5 km) altitude. Of eight X-15 pilots who exceeded 50 miles (80.5 km) in altitude, only one exceeded 100 kilometers (about 62 miles).
Space travelers have spent over 30,400 man-days
Man hour
A man-hour or person-hour is the amount of work performed by an average worker in one hour. It is used in written "estimates" for estimation of the total amount of uninterrupted labour required to perform a task. For example, researching and writing a college paper might require twenty man-hours...

 (83 man-years) in space, including over 100 astronaut-days of spacewalks
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

.
As of 2008, the man with the longest cumulative time in space is Sergei K. Krikalev
Sergei Krikalev
Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev is a Russian cosmonaut and mechanical engineer. As a prominent rocket scientist, he has been veteran of six space flights and currently has spent more time in space than any other human being.On August 16, 2005 at 1:44 a.m...

, who has spent 803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes, or 2.2 years, in space.
Peggy A. Whitson
Peggy Whitson
Peggy Annette Whitson is an American biochemistry researcher, NASA astronaut, and NASA's Chief Astronaut. Her first space mission was in 2002, with an extended stay aboard the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 5. Her second mission launched October 10, 2007, as the first female...

 holds the record for the most time in space by a woman, 377 days.

English


In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and many other English-speaking nations, a professional space traveler is called an astronaut. The term derives from the Greek words ástron (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and nautes (ναύτης), meaning "sailor". The first known use of the term "astronaut" in the modern sense was by Neil R. Jones
Neil R. Jones
Neil Ronald Jones was an American author who worked for the state of New York. Not prolific, and little remembered today, Jones was ground–breaking in science fiction. His first story, "The Death's Head Meteor", was published in Air Wonder Stories in 1930, possibly recording the first use of...

 in his short story "The Death's Head Meteor" in 1930. The word itself had been known earlier. For example, in Percy Greg
Percy Greg
Percy Greg , son of William Rathbone Greg, was an English writer....

's 1880 book Across the Zodiac, "astronaut" referred to a spacecraft. In Les Navigateurs de l'Infini (1925) of J.-H. Rosny aîné
J.-H. Rosny aîné
J.-H. Rosny aîné was the pseudonym of Joseph Henri Honoré Boex , a French author of Belgian origin who is considered one of the founding figures of modern science fiction. Born in Brussels in 1856, he wrote in the French language, together with his younger brother Séraphin Justin François Boex...

, the word astronautique (astronautic) was used. The word may have been inspired by "aeronaut", an older term for an air traveler first applied (in 1784) to balloon
Balloon (aircraft)
A balloon is a type of aircraft that remains aloft due to its buoyancy. A balloon travels by moving with the wind. It is distinct from an airship, which is a buoyant aircraft that can be propelled through the air in a controlled manner....

ists. An early use in a non-fiction publication is Eric Frank Russell
Eric Frank Russell
Eric Frank Russell was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales, and...

's poem "The Astronaut" in the November 1934 Bulletin of the British Interplanetary Society
British Interplanetary Society
The British Interplanetary Society founded in 1933 by Philip E. Cleator, is the oldest space advocacy organisation in the world whose aim is exclusively to support and promote astronautics and space exploration.-Structure:...

.

The first known formal use of the term astronautics
Astronautics
Astronautics, and related astronautical engineering, is the theory and practice of navigation beyond the Earth's atmosphere. In other words, it is the science and technology of space flight....

 in the scientific community was the establishment of the annual International Astronautical Congress
International Astronautical Congress
Every year, the International Astronautical Federation together with the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law , holds the International Astronautical Congress which is hosted by one of the national society members of the IAF.They are an annual meeting...

 in 1950 and the subsequent founding of the International Astronautical Federation
International Astronautical Federation
International Astronautical Federation , the world's foremost space advocacy organisation, is based in Paris. It was founded in 1951 as a non-governmental organization. It has 206 members from 58 countries across the world. They are drawn from space agencies, industry, professional associations,...

 the following year.

NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 applies the term astronaut to any crew member aboard NASA spacecraft bound for Earth orbit or beyond. NASA also uses the term as a title for those selected to join its Astronaut Corps. The European Space Agency similarly uses the term astronaut for members of its Astronaut Corps.

Russian



By convention, an astronaut employed by the Russian Federal Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency
The Russian Federal Space Agency , commonly called Roscosmos and abbreviated as FKA and RKA , is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency .Headquarters of Roscosmos are located...

 (or its Soviet
Soviet space program
The Soviet space program is the rocketry and space exploration programs conducted by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the 1930s until its dissolution in 1991...

 predecessor) is called a cosmonaut in English texts. The word is an anglicisation
Anglicisation
Anglicisation, or anglicization , is the process of converting verbal or written elements of any other language into a form that is more comprehensible to an English speaker, or, more generally, of altering something such that it becomes English in form or character.The term most often refers to...

 of the Russian word kosmonavt ( kəsmɐˈnaft), one who works in space outside the Earth′s atmosphere, a space traveller, which derives from the Greek words kosmos (κόσμος), meaning "universe", and nautes (ναύτης), meaning "sailor".

The Soviet Air Force pilot Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961....

 was the first cosmonaut. A Russian factory worker Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Soviet cosmonaut, and was the first woman in space. She was selected out of more than four hundred applicants, and then out of five finalists, to pilot Vostok 6 on the 16 June, 1963, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in...

 was the first female cosmonaut, as well as arguably the first civilian cosmonaut (see below for a further discussion of civilians in space). On March 14, 1995, Norman Thagard
Norman Thagard
Norman Earl Thagard is an American scientist and former NASA astronaut. He is the first American to ride to space on board a Russian vehicle, and can be considered the first American cosmonaut...

 became the first American to ride to space on board a Russian launch vehicle, arguably becoming the first "American cosmonaut".

Chinese



Official English-language texts issued by the government of the People's Republic of China use astronaut while texts in Russian use космонавт (kosmonavt). In China, the terms "yǔhángyuán" or "hángtiānyuán" have long been used for astronauts. The phrase "tàikōng rén" is often used in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 and Hong Kong.

The term taikonaut is used by some English-language news media organizations for professional space travelers from China
Chinese space program
The space program of the People's Republic of China is directed by the China National Space Administration . Its technological roots can be traced back to the late 1950s, when the People's Republic began a rudimentary ballistic missile program in response to perceived American threats...

. The word has featured in the Longman
Longman
Longman was a publishing company founded in London, England in 1724. It is now an imprint of Pearson Education.-Beginnings:The Longman company was founded by Thomas Longman , the son of Ezekiel Longman , a gentleman of Bristol. Thomas was apprenticed in 1716 to John Osborn, a London bookseller, and...

 and Oxford English
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

 dictionaries, the latter of which describes it as "a hybrid of the Chinese term taikong (space) and the Greek naut (sailor)"; the term became more common in 2003 when China sent its first astronaut Yang Liwei
Yang Liwei
Yáng Lìwěi is a Chinese major general and military pilot and a CNSA astronaut. He was the first man sent into space by the Chinese space program and his mission, Shenzhou 5, made China the third country to independently send people into space.-Background:...

 into space aboard the Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5  — was the first human spaceflight mission of the People's Republic of China , launched on October 15, 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle. There had been four previous flights of unmanned Shenzhou missions since 1999...

spacecraft. This is the term used by Xinhua in the English version of the Chinese People's Daily since the advent of the Chinese space program. The origin of the term is unclear; as early as May 1998, Chiew Lee Yih from Malaysia, used it in newsgroup
Newsgroup
A usenet newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users in different locations. The term may be confusing to some, because it is usually a discussion group. Newsgroups are technically distinct from, but functionally similar to, discussion forums on...

s.

Other terms


With the rise of space tourism
Space tourism
Space Tourism is space travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. A number of startup companies have sprung up in recent years, hoping to create a space tourism industry...

, NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 and the Russian Federal Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency
The Russian Federal Space Agency , commonly called Roscosmos and abbreviated as FKA and RKA , is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency .Headquarters of Roscosmos are located...

 agreed to use the term "spaceflight participant
Spaceflight participant
Spaceflight participant is the term used by National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Russian Federal Space Agency for people who travel aboard space missions coordinated by those agencies who are not part of the crew...

" to distinguish those space travelers from professional astronauts on missions coordinated by those two agencies.

While no nation other than Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), the United States, and China has launched a manned spacecraft, several other nations have sent people into space in cooperation with one of these countries. Inspired partly by these missions, other synonyms for astronaut have entered occasional English usage. For example, the term spationaut (French spelling: spationaute) is sometimes used to describe French space travelers, from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word spatium or "space", and the Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 term angkasawan was used to describe participants in the Angkasawan program. In Hungary the word describing astronauts is űrhajós (from űr meaning "space" and hajós meaning "sailor".)

Space travel milestones






The first human in space was Soviet Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961....

, who was launched into space on April 12, 1961 aboard Vostok 1
Vostok 1
Vostok 1 was the first spaceflight in the Vostok program and the first human spaceflight in history. The Vostok 3KA spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961. The flight took Yuri Gagarin, a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union, into space. The flight marked the first time that a human entered outer...

 and orbited around the Earth for 108 minutes. The first woman in space was Russian Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Soviet cosmonaut, and was the first woman in space. She was selected out of more than four hundred applicants, and then out of five finalists, to pilot Vostok 6 on the 16 June, 1963, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in...

, who launched on June 16, 1963 aboard Vostok 6
Vostok 6
-Backup crew:-Reserve crew:Vostok VI-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Apogee: *Perigee: *Inclination: 64.9°*Period: 87.8 minutes9090...

 and orbited Earth for almost three days.

Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit...

 became the first American and second person in space on May 5, 1961 on a 15-minute sub-orbital flight. The first American woman in space was Sally Ride
Sally Ride
Sally Kristen Ride is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman—and then-youngest American, at 32—to enter space...

, during Space Shuttle Challenger
Space Shuttle Challenger
Space Shuttle Challenger was NASA's second Space Shuttle orbiter to be put into service, Columbia having been the first. The shuttle was built by Rockwell International's Space Transportation Systems Division in Downey, California...

's mission STS-7
STS-7
STS-7 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Challenger deployed several satellites into orbit. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center on 18 June 1983, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on 24 June. STS-7 was the seventh shuttle mission, and was Challengers second...

, on June 18, 1983. In 1992 Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison
Mae Carol Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.-Early years:...

 became the first African American woman to travel in space aboard STS-47
STS-47
STS-47 was the 50th Space Shuttle mission of the program, as well as the second mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour. The mission mainly involved conducting experiments in life and material sciences.-Crew:-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:* Mass:...

.

The first manned mission to orbit the moon, Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

, included American William Anders
William Anders
William Alison Anders is a former United States Air Force officer, NASA astronaut, businessman, and engineer. He is, along with Apollo 8 crewmates Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, one of the first three persons to have left Earth orbit and traveled to the Moon .-Biography:Anders was born to Arthur...

 who was born in Hong Kong, making him the first Asian-born astronaut in 1968. In April 1985, Taylor Wang
Taylor Wang
Taylor Gun-Jin Wang is an American scientist and in 1985, became the first ethnic Chinese person to go into space. While an employee of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Wang was a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS-51-B.-Early life and education:With ancestry in...

 became the first ethnic Chinese person in space. On 15 October 2003, Yang Liwei
Yang Liwei
Yáng Lìwěi is a Chinese major general and military pilot and a CNSA astronaut. He was the first man sent into space by the Chinese space program and his mission, Shenzhou 5, made China the third country to independently send people into space.-Background:...

 became China's first astronaut on the Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5  — was the first human spaceflight mission of the People's Republic of China , launched on October 15, 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle. There had been four previous flights of unmanned Shenzhou missions since 1999...

 spacecraft.

The Soviet Union, through its Intercosmos
Intercosmos
Interkosmos was a space program of the Soviet Union designed to include members of military forces of allied Warsaw Pact countries in manned and unmanned missions...

 program, allowed people from other "socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

" (i.e. Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 and other Soviet-allied) countries to fly on its missions. An example is Vladimír Remek
Vladimír Remek
Vladimír Remek is the first Czechoslovak in space and the first cosmonaut from a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States. As of 2004, with the entry of the Czech Republic into the European Union Vladimír Remek is considered to be the first astronaut from the EU...

, a Czechoslovak, who became the first non-Soviet European in space in 1978 on a Russian Soyuz-U
Soyuz-U
The Soyuz-U launch vehicle is an improved version of the original Soyuz LV. Soyuz-U is part of the R-7 family of rockets based on the R-7 Semyorka missile. Members of this rocket family were designed by the TsSKB design bureau and constructed at the Progress Factory in Samara, Russia....

 rocket.
On July 23, 1980, Pham Tuan of Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 became the first Asian
Asian people
Asian people or Asiatic people is a term with multiple meanings that refers to people who descend from a portion of Asia's population.- Central Asia :...

 in space when he flew aboard Soyuz 37
Soyuz 37
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Perigee: *Apogee: *Inclination: 51.61°*Period: 89.12 minutes-Mission highlights:...

.

Also in 1980, Cuban
Cubans
Cubans or Cuban people are the inhabitants or citizens of Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez
Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez
Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez was the first Cuban citizen and the first person from a country in the Western Hemisphere other than the United States to travel into earth orbit...

 became the first person of Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

 and black African descent to fly in space, Guion Bluford
Guion Bluford
Guion Stewart “Guy” Bluford, Jr. , is an engineer, retired Colonel from the United States Air Force and a former NASA Astronaut. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992...

 became the first African American to fly into space. The first person born in Africa to fly in space was Patrick Baudry
Patrick Baudry
Patrick Pierre Roger Baudry , is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the French Air Force and a former CNES astronaut...

, in 1985. In 1985, Saudi Arabian
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin AbdulAziz Al-Saud became the first Arab Muslim astronaut in space. In 1988, Abdul Ahad Mohmand
Abdul Ahad Mohmand
Abdul Ahad Momand is a former Afghan Air Force aviator who became the first Afghan in space when he spent nine days aboard the Mir space station in 1988 as a Intercosmos Research Cosmonaut...

 became the first Afghan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 to reach space, spending nine days aboard the Mir
Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 space station.

With the larger number of seats available on the Space Shuttle, the U.S. began taking international astronauts. In 1983, Ulf Merbold
Ulf Merbold
Dr. Ulf Dietrich Merbold is the first West German citizen and second German native to have flown in space. He is also the first member of the European Space Agency Astronaut Corps to participate in a spaceflight mission. He holds the distinction of being the first non-US citizen to reach orbit in...

 of West Germany became the first non-US citizen to fly in a US spacecraft. In 1984, Marc Garneau
Marc Garneau
Joseph Jean-Pierre Marc Garneau, CC CD FCASI MP is a Canadian retired military officer, former astronaut, engineer and politician.Garneau was the first Canadian in space taking part in three flights aboard NASA Space shuttles...

 became the first of 8 Canadian astronauts to fly in space (through 2010).
In 1985, Rodolfo Neri Vela
Rodolfo Neri Vela
Rodolfo Neri Vela is a Mexican scientist and astronaut who flow aboard a NASA Space Shuttle mission in 1985. He is the first and only Mexican, and then the second Latin-American, to have traveled to space.-Personal :...

 became the first Mexican-born person in space. In 1991, Helen Sharman
Helen Sharman
Helen Patricia Sharman, OBE PhD , is a British chemist. She was the first Briton in space, visiting the Mir space station aboard Soyuz TM-12 in 1991....

 became the first Briton to fly in space.
In 2002, Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Richard Shuttleworth is a South African entrepreneur who was the second self-funded space tourist. Shuttleworth founded Canonical Ltd. and as of 2010, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system...

 became the first citizen of an African country to fly in space, as a paying spaceflight participant. In 2003, Ilan Ramon
Ilan Ramon
Ilan Ramon was a fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force, and later the first Israeli astronaut....

 became the first Israeli to fly in space, although he died during a re-entry accident
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in the death of all seven crew members...

.

Age milestones


The youngest person to fly in space is Gherman Titov
Gherman Titov
Gherman Stepanovich Titov was a Soviet cosmonaut who, on August 6, 1961, became the second human to orbit the Earth aboard Vostok 2, preceded by Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1...

, who was 25 years old when he flew Vostok 2
Vostok 2
Vostok 2 was a Soviet space mission which carried cosmonaut Gherman Titov into orbit for a full day in order to study the effects of a more prolonged period of weightlessness on the human body...

. (Titov was also the first person to suffer space sickness).
The oldest person who has flown in space is John Glenn
John Glenn
John Herschel Glenn, Jr. is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was a Marine Corps fighter pilot before joining NASA's Mercury program as a member of NASA's original...

, who was 77 when he flew on STS-95
STS-95
STS-95 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 29 October 1998. It was the 25th flight of Discovery and the 92nd mission flown since the start of the Space Shuttle program in April 1981. It was a highly publicized mission due to former Project Mercury...

.

Duration and distance milestones


The longest stay in space thus far has been 438 days, by Russian Valeri Polyakov.
As of 2006, the most spaceflights by an individual astronaut is seven, a record held by both Jerry L. Ross
Jerry L. Ross
Jerry Lynn Ross is a United States Air Force officer and a former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions, making him the record holder for most spaceflights .-Personal:Ross is married to the former Karen S. Pearson of Sheridan, Indiana. They have two children...

 and Franklin Chang-Diaz. The farthest distance from Earth an astronaut has traveled was 401056 km (249,205 mi), when Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

, Jack Swigert
Jack Swigert
He later became staff director of the Committee on Science and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives.Swigert was elected as a Republican to Colorado's newly created 6th congressional district in November 1982. He defeated Democrat Steve Hogan, 98,909 votes to 56,518...

, and Fred Haise
Fred Haise
Fred Wallace Haise, Jr. is an engineer and former NASA astronaut. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon. Having flown on Apollo 13, Haise was to be the sixth human to walk on the Moon, but the mission did not land due to a failure aboard the spacecraft.-Early life and...

 went around the Moon during the Apollo 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

 emergency.

Civilian and non-government milestones


Depending on the exact definition of 'civilian', the first civilian in space was either Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Soviet cosmonaut, and was the first woman in space. She was selected out of more than four hundred applicants, and then out of five finalists, to pilot Vostok 6 on the 16 June, 1963, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in...

 aboard Vostok 6
Vostok 6
-Backup crew:-Reserve crew:Vostok VI-Mission parameters:*Mass: *Apogee: *Perigee: *Inclination: 64.9°*Period: 87.8 minutes9090...

 (she also became the first woman in space on that mission) or Joseph Albert Walker on X-15 Flight 90
X-15 Flight 90
-Crew:-Mission parameters:*Mass: 15,195 kg fueled; 6,577 kg burnout; 6,260 kg landed*Maximum Altitude: 106.01 km*Range: 534 km*Burn Time: 84.6 seconds*Mach: 5.50*Launch Vehicle: NB-52B Bomber #008...

 a month later. Tereshkova was only honorarily inducted into the USSR's Air Force, which had no female pilots whatsoever at that time. Joe Walker had joined the US Army Air Force but was not a member during his flight. The first people in space who had never been a member of any country's armed forces were both Konstantin Feoktistov
Konstantin Feoktistov
Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov was a Soviet cosmonaut and an eminent space engineer. Feoktistov also wrote several books on space technology and exploration...

 and Boris Yegorov
Boris Yegorov
Boris Borisovich Yegorov was a Soviet physician-cosmonaut and he became the first physician to make a space flight.Yegorov came from a medical background, with his father a prominent heart surgeon, and his mother an ophthalmologist. He also selected medicine as a career and graduated from the...

 aboard Voskhod 1
Voskhod 1
Voskhod 1 was the seventh manned Soviet space flight. It achieved a number of "firsts" in the history of manned spaceflight, being the first space flight to carry more than one crewman into orbit, the first flight without the use of spacesuits, and the first to carry either an engineer or a...

.

The first non-governmental space traveler was Byron K. Lichtenberg
Byron K. Lichtenberg
Byron Kurt Lichtenberg, Sc. D. is an American engineer and fighter pilot who flew aboard two NASA Space Shuttle missions as a Payload Specialist. In 1983, he and Ulf Merbold became the first Payload Specialists to fly on the shuttle.-Personal:Born February 19, 1948 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania...

, a researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 who flew on STS-9
STS-9
STS-9 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission which carried the first Spacelab module into orbit to conduct space-based scientific experiments. It was the sixth mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia, and was Columbia's last flight until STS-61-C in January 1986...

 in 1983. In December 1990, Toyohiro Akiyama
Toyohiro Akiyama
is a Japanese TV journalist best known for his flight to the Mir space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 1990. Akiyama is the first person of Japanese descent to have flown in space. He was known as the "Space Journalist" in Japan....

 became the first paying space traveler as a reporter for Tokyo Broadcasting System
Tokyo Broadcasting System
, TBS Holdings, Inc. or TBSHD, is a stockholding company in Tokyo, Japan. It is a parent company of a television network named and radio network named ....

, a visit to Mir
Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 as part of an estimated $12 million (USD) deal with a Japanese TV station, although at the time, the term used to refer to Akiyama was "Research Cosmonaut". Akiyama suffered severe space-sickness during his mission, which affected his productivity.

The first self-funded space tourist was Dennis Tito
Dennis Tito
Dennis Anthony Tito is an Italian American engineer and multimillionaire, most widely known as the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space. In mid-2001, he spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station...

 on board the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-3 on 28 April 2001.

Self-funded travelers



The first person to fly on an entirely privately-funded mission was Mike Melvill
Mike Melvill
Michael Winston "Mike" Melvill is one of the test pilots for SpaceShipOne, the experimental spaceplane developed by Scaled Composites. Melvill piloted SpaceShipOne on its first flight past the edge of space, flight 15P on June 21, 2004, thus becoming the first commercial astronaut and the 434th...

, piloting SpaceShipOne flight 15P
SpaceShipOne flight 15P
-Flight profile:All times are in PDT, which is seven hours behind UTC. This was the local civil time at the spaceport on the day of the flight. All measurements are first stated in the U.S...

 on a sub-orbital journey, although he was a test pilot
Test pilot
A test pilot is an aviator who flies new and modified aircraft in specific maneuvers, known as flight test techniques or FTTs, allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated....

 employed by Scaled Composites
Scaled Composites
Scaled Composites is an aerospace company founded by Burt Rutan and currently owned by Northrop Grumman that is located at the Mojave Spaceport, Mojave, California, United States...

 and not an actual paying space tourist. Seven others have paid to fly into space:
  1. Dennis Tito
    Dennis Tito
    Dennis Anthony Tito is an Italian American engineer and multimillionaire, most widely known as the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space. In mid-2001, he spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station...

     (American): April 28 – May 6, 2001 (ISS
    ISS
    The ISS is the International Space Station.ISS may also refer to:* I See Stars, an American electronic rock band* ISS A/S, a Danish service company* Idea Star Singer, a Malayalam music reality show by Asianet TV...

    )
  2. Mark Shuttleworth
    Mark Shuttleworth
    Mark Richard Shuttleworth is a South African entrepreneur who was the second self-funded space tourist. Shuttleworth founded Canonical Ltd. and as of 2010, provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system...

     (South African): April 25 – May 5, 2002 (ISS)
  3. Gregory Olsen
    Gregory Olsen
    Gregory Hammond "Greg" Olsen is an American entrepreneur, engineer and scientist who, in October 2005, became the third private citizen to make a self-funded trip to the International Space Station with the company Space Adventures....

     (American): October 1–11, 2005 (ISS)
  4. Anousheh Ansari
    Anousheh Ansari
    Anousheh Ansari is an engineer and the Iranian-American co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. . The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. On September 18, 2006,...

     (Iranian / American): September 18–29, 2006 (ISS)
  5. Charles Simonyi
    Charles Simonyi
    Charles Simonyi is a Hungarian-American computer software executive who, as head of Microsoft's application software group, oversaw the creation of Microsoft's flagship Office suite of applications. He now heads his own company, Intentional Software, with the aim of developing and marketing his...

     (Hungarian / American): April 7–21, 2007 (ISS), March 26 – April 8, 2009 (ISS)
  6. Richard Garriott
    Richard Garriott
    Richard Allen Garriott is a British-American video game developer and entrepreneur.He is also known as his alter egos Lord British in Ultima and General British in Tabula Rasa...

     (American): October 12–24, 2008 (ISS)
  7. Guy Laliberté
    Guy Laliberté
    Guy Laliberté, OC, CQ is a Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist, poker player, space tourist and the current CEO of Cirque du Soleil...

     (Canadian): September 30, 2009 – October 11, 2009 (ISS)

Training



The first NASA astronauts were selected for training in 1959. Early in the space program, military jet test piloting and engineering training were often cited as prerequisites for selection as an astronaut at NASA, although neither John Glenn nor Scott Carpenter (of the Mercury Seven
Mercury Seven
Mercury Seven was the group of seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959. They are also referred to as the Original Seven and Astronaut Group 1...

) had any university degree, in engineering or any other discipline at the time of their selection. Selection was initially limited to military pilots. The earliest astronauts for both America and Russia tended to be jet fighter
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 pilots, and were often test pilots.

Once selected, NASA astronauts go through 20 months of training in a variety of areas, including training for extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

 in a facility such as NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory
Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory
The Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory is an astronaut training facility maintained by and located at the Sonny Carter Training Facility on NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The NBL consists of a large indoor pool of water, the largest in the world, in which astronauts may perform simulated...

. Astronauts-in-training may also experience short periods of weightlessness
Weightlessness
Weightlessness is the condition that exists for an object or person when they experience little or no acceleration except the acceleration that defines their inertial trajectory, or the trajectory of pure free-fall...

 in aircraft called the "vomit comet
Vomit Comet
A Reduced Gravity Aircraft is a type of fixed-wing aircraft that briefly provides a nearly weightless environment in which to train astronauts, conduct research and film motion pictures....

", the nickname given to a pair of modified KC-135s (retired in 2000 and 2004 respectively, and replaced in 2005 with a C-9) which perform parabolic
Parabola
In mathematics, the parabola is a conic section, the intersection of a right circular conical surface and a plane parallel to a generating straight line of that surface...

 flights. Astronauts are also required to accumulate a number of flight hours in high-performance jet aircraft. This is mostly done in T-38 jet aircraft
T-38 Talon
The Northrop T-38 Talon is a twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2011 in air forces throughout the world....

 out of Ellington Field
Ellington Field
Ellington International Airport is a joint civil-military airport located in the U.S. state of Texas within the city of Houston— southeast of Downtown. Established by the Army Air Service on 21 May 1917, Ellington Field was one of the initial World War I Army Air Service installations when...

, due to its proximity to the Johnson Space Center
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control. The center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres in Houston, Texas, USA...

. Ellington Field is also where the Shuttle Training Aircraft
Shuttle Training Aircraft
The Shuttle Training Aircraft is a NASA training vehicle that duplicates the Space Shuttle's approach profile and handling qualities, allowing Space Shuttle pilots to simulate Shuttle landings under controlled conditions before attempting the task on board the orbiter.-Development:The aircraft's...

 is maintained and developed, although most flights of the aircraft are done out of Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

.

NASA candidacy requirements

  • Be citizens of the United States.
  • Pass a strict physical examination, and have a near and distant visual acuity correctable to 20/20 (6/6). Blood pressure, while sitting, must be no greater than 140 over 90.

Commander and Pilot

  • A bachelor's degree
    Bachelor's degree
    A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

     in engineering
    Engineering
    Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

    , biological science
    Biology
    Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

    , physical science
    Physical science
    Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science and science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences...

     or mathematics
    Mathematics
    Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

     is required, although service in the United States Air Force can exempt this.
  • At least 1,000 hours flying time as pilot-in-command in jet aircraft. Experience as a test pilot is desirable.
  • Height must be 5 ft 2 in to 6 ft 2 in (1.63 to 1.88 m).
  • Distant visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20 in each eye.
  • The refractive surgical procedures of the eye, PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy
    Photorefractive keratectomy
    Photorefractive keratectomy and Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy are laser eye surgery procedures intended to correct a person's vision, reducing dependency on glasses or contact lenses. The first PRK procedure was performed in 1987 by Dr. Theo Seiler, then at the Free University...

    ) and LASIK
    LASIK
    LASIK or Lasik , commonly referred to simply as laser eye surgery, is a type of refractive surgery for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism...

    , are now allowed, providing at least 1 year has passed since the date of the procedure with no permanent adverse after effects. For those applicants under final consideration, an operative report on the surgical procedure will be requested.

Mission Specialist

  • A bachelor's degree in engineering
    Engineering
    Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

    , biological science, physical science
    Physical science
    Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science and science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences...

     or mathematics
    Mathematics
    Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

    , as well as at least three years of related professional experience (graduate work or studies) and an advanced degree (master's degree = 1 year or a doctoral degree = 3 years)
  • Applicant's height must be 5 ft 2 in to 6 ft 4 in (1.57 to 1.93 m).

Mission Specialist Educator



  • Bachelor's degree with teaching experience, including work at the kindergarten through 12th grade level. Advanced degree not required, but is desired.

Mission Specialist Educators
Educator Astronaut Project
The Educator Astronaut Project is a NASA program designed to educate students and spur excitement in math, science, and space exploration. It is a successor to the Teacher in Space Project of the 1980s that was cancelled after Christa McAuliffe died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster...

, or "Educator Astronauts", were first selected in 2004, and as of 2007, there are three NASA Educator astronauts: Joseph M. Acaba
Joseph M. Acaba
Joseph Michael "Joe" Acaba is an educator, hydrogeologist, and NASA astronaut. In May 2004 he became the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to be named as a NASA astronaut candidate, when he was selected as a member of NASA Astronaut Training Group 19...

, Richard R. Arnold
Richard R. Arnold
Richard Robert "Ricky" Arnold II is an American educator and a NASA astronaut. He flew on Space Shuttle mission STS-119, which launched March 15, 2009 and delivered the final set of solar arrays to the International Space Station.Arnold was raised in Bowie, Maryland and is married to Eloise...

, and Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger
Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger
Dorothy Marie "Dottie" Metcalf-Lindenburger was born on May 2, 1975 in Colorado Springs, Colorado and married Jason Metcalf-Lindenburger, a seventh grade teacher at the time, in 2000. She was a science teacher at Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Washington when she was selected in 2004 as an...

.
Barbara Morgan
Barbara Morgan
Barbara Radding Morgan is an American teacher and a former NASA astronaut. She participated in the Teacher in Space program as the backup to Christa McAuliffe for the ill-fated STS-51L mission of Space Shuttle Challenger. She then trained as a Mission Specialist, and flew on STS-118 in August 2007...

, selected as back-up teacher to Christa McAuliffe
Christa McAuliffe
Christa McAuliffe was an American teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, and was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster....

 in 1985, is considered to be the first Educator astronaut by the media, but she trained as a mission specialist.
The Educator Astronaut program is a successor to the Teacher in Space program from the 1980s.

Health risks of space travel


Astronauts are susceptible to a variety of health risks including decompression sickness, barotrauma, immunodeficiencies, loss of bone and muscle, orthostatic intolerance due to volume loss, sleep disturbances, and radiation injury. A variety of large scale medical studies are being conducted in space via the National Space and Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to address these issues. Prominent among these is the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity
Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity
The Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity Project is a US Government funded study investigating strategies for applying diagnostic telemedicine to space. The Principal Investigator is Scott Dulchavsky, Chairman of Surgery at the Henry Ford Health System...

 Study in which astronauts (including former ISS commanders Leroy Chiao
Leroy Chiao
Dr. Leroy Chiao , is an American engineer, former NASA astronaut, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and engineering consultant. Chiao flew on three shuttle flights, and was the commander of Expedition 10, where he lived on board the International Space Station from October 13, 2004 to April 24,...

 and Gennady Padalka
Gennady Padalka
Gennady Ivanovich Padalka is a Russian Air Force officer and an RSA cosmonaut. As of June 2010, Gennady ranks sixth for career time in space due to his time on both Mir and the International Space Station....

) perform ultrasound scans under the guidance of remote experts to diagnose and potentially treat hundreds of medical conditions in space. This study's techniques are now being applied to cover professional and Olympic sports injuries as well as ultrasound performed by non-expert operators in medical and high school students. It is anticipated that remote guided ultrasound will have application on Earth in emergency and rural care situations, where access to a trained physician is often rare.

Insignia


In Russia, cosmonauts are awarded Pilot-Cosmonaut of the Russian Federation
Pilot-Cosmonaut of the Russian Federation
Pilot-Cosmonaut of the Russian Federation is a title that is presented to all cosmonauts who fly for the Russian Federal Space Agency. Usually accompanying the distinction is the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, the highest title that can be awarded to a Russian for performing heroic deeds...

 upon completion of their missions, often accompanied with the award of Hero of the Russian Federation
Hero of the Russian Federation
Hero of the Russian Federation is a Russian decoration and the highest honorary title that can be bestowed on a citizen by the Russian Federation. The President of the Russian Federation is the main conferring authority of the medal, which is bestowed on those committing actions or deeds that...

. This follows the practice established in the Soviet Union.

At NASA, those who complete astronaut candidate training receive a silver lapel pin. Once they have flown in space, they receive a gold pin. U.S. astronauts who also have active-duty military status receive a special qualification badge, known as the Astronaut Badge
Astronaut Badge
The Astronaut Badge is a badge of the United States, awarded to military and civilian pilots who have completed training and performed a successful spaceflight...

, after participation on a spaceflight. The United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 also presents an Astronaut Badge to its pilots who exceed 50 miles (80.5 km) in altitude.


Deaths


Eighteen astronauts (fourteen men and four women) have lost their lives during four space flights. By nationality, they are 13 Americans (including one with dual Indian citizenship), four Russians (Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

), and one Israeli.

Eleven people (all men) have lost their lives training for spaceflight: eight Americans and three Russians. Six of these were in crashes of training jet aircraft, one drowned during water recovery training, and four were due to fires in pure oxygen environments.

The Space Mirror Memorial, which stands on the grounds of the John F. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, commemorates the lives of the men and women who have died during spaceflight and during training in the space programs of the United States. In addition to twenty NASA career astronauts, the memorial includes the names of a U.S. Air Force X-15 test pilot, a U.S. Air Force officer who died while training for a then-classified military space program, and a civilian spaceflight participant
Spaceflight participant
Spaceflight participant is the term used by National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Russian Federal Space Agency for people who travel aboard space missions coordinated by those agencies who are not part of the crew...

.

See also



  • Space food
    Space food
    Space food is food products, specially created and processed for consumption by astronauts in outer space. The food has specific requirements of providing balanced nutrition for the health of individuals working in space, while being easy and safe to store, prepare and consume in the machinery...

  • Spaceflight records
    Spaceflight records
    This is a list of spaceflight records. Most of these records relate to human spaceflights, but some unmanned and canine records are included.-First independent human spaceflight by country:-Ten longest human space flights:...

  • Space Suit
    Space suit
    A space suit is a garment worn to keep an astronaut alive in the harsh environment of outer space. Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure, and are necessary for extra-vehicular activity , work done outside spacecraft...

    s
  • Shirley Thomas
    Shirley Thomas (USC professor)
    Shirley Thomas Ph.D. , was a radio/television actress/writer/producer, author, and professor in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.-Background:...

    , author of Men of Space series (1960–1968)
  • Russian cosmonauts
  • Cosmonautics Day
    Cosmonautics Day
    Cosmonautics Day is a holiday celebrated in Russia and some other former USSR countries on April 12. This holiday celebrates the first manned space flight made on April 12, 1961 by the 27-year old Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Gagarin circled the Earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes aboard the Vostok...

  • Yuri's Night
    Yuri's Night
    Yuri's Night is an international celebration held on April 12 every year to commemorate space exploration milestones. The event is named for the first human to launch into space, Yuri Gagarin, who flew the Vostok 1 spaceship on April 12, 1961. In 2004, people celebrated Yuri's Night in 34...

  • Boundary of Space
  • Fallen Astronaut
    Fallen Astronaut
    Fallen Astronaut is an 8.5 cm aluminium sculpture of an astronaut in a spacesuit which commemorates astronauts and cosmonauts who died in the advancement of space exploration...

  • List of fictional astronauts
  • Mercury 13
    Mercury 13
    Mercury 13 refers to thirteen American women who, as part of a privately funded program, underwent some of the same physiological screening tests as the astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959 for Project Mercury...

    , a group of 13 women who were tested, but never flew in space
  • J-Wear
    J-Wear
    J-Wear is a line of clothing designed for use by astronauts during space missions. It includes underwear, shirts, pants and socks. The clothing is anti-bacterial, water-absorbent, odor-eliminating, antistatic, and flame retardant. Its made from cotton and polyester, and is seamless.The clothes were...

  • U.S. space exploration history on U.S. stamps
    U.S. space exploration history on U.S. stamps
    With the advent of unmanned and manned space flight a whole new era of American history had presented itself. Keeping with the tradition of honoring the country's history on the face of U.S. postage stamps, the U.S. Post Office began honoring the various events with its commemorative postage stamp...


  • External links